Ask Dr. J

Ask Dr. J

by Janan Broadbent, Ph.D

Friday, March 17, 2017

Solitude in a Relationship

Do you see solitude and relationships as compatible or mutually exclusive concepts? Over the years, I’ve known a number of people whose partnerships broke up due to disagreements, death, or entanglements with others. Some immediately sought another connection. By immediately, I mean in the next week, if not the next day. Those were people who just could not imagine life without a partner, and “needed” someone there for their emotional (and perhaps social or financial) support. Those connections had a faulty basis: If need is why you seek a person, you set yourself up for dependence – which in turn, fosters resentment sooner or later. Those negative feelings may come from the one who is needy, recognizing that there is that kind of need, or it may come from the one who is providing the support, who then feels the burden.

Unless you live in some remote, non-wifi location, it is not possible to get away from the general feeling of anxiety, worry and fear not only in our country but also in the world. The LGBTQ community, as well as those who are related to it, and many others to be sure, is even more affected by the recent developments in this regard.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Passion: Need More or Less?

Both in the relationship and in career / work-life contexts, passion is mentioned as a desirable characteristic and feeling. Merriam Webster defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” There is much research on the desirability of passion towards one’s career and job and how it leads to a happier work situation. When it comes to passion in a relationship, what we are talking about? It’s intensity of feeling, and not only necessarily in a sexual state. The question is: How passionate do you want your partner to be, and how passionate are you?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hibernate and Connect

Winter is the season all living beings including homo sapiens tend to mentally go into themselves and basically hibernate. It is a time of reflection and the physical body wants to hold on to all of its resources. Leftover from eons ago, our biological mechanisms conserve energies to get ready, in the spring, for another cycle of re-growth and new beginnings. So how do we handle our relationships within this framework?

Friday, January 06, 2017

2017 Here Already?

One can have all kinds of conflicting feelings about one year ending and a new one beginning, depending on how perceptions of the past events and the future ones may range. I’ve never found “New Year’s resolutions” to be useful, but that may work for some. Today, I want to focus on optimism, that general feeling that what lies ahead looks pretty decent! Yet this feeling is not as simple as it sounds, because how it’s felt emotionally and what is reported verbally may differ.

Friday, December 23, 2016


You know that cliché of the old year (why always a man?) exiting stage left and the new baby year appearing? Well, here we are, counting the days till the end of this year of 2016, great for some, terrible for others, and perhaps so-so for most… Are you going to watch the ball drop at Times Square? Or the fireworks as other countries in differing time zones celebrate?

Friday, December 09, 2016

The Blame Game

So you broke up. Or didn’t get the gift you expected. Or an occasion was not remembered. Or a promotion was given to someone else. Or you dropped that glass mug and broke it.

How do you deal with that situation? With anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Frustration? Resentment? These are all emotions that can be generated by such unfortunate events. However, once we get calmer, how do we interpret these happenings in the larger context of life?


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